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Denying historical fact weakens anti-war arguments

By Scott Tibbs, May 30, 2008

After five years of fighting an armed insurgency determined to force the United States out of Iraq, it has become increasingly popular to mock a statement by Vice President Dick Cheney in the months leading up to the invasion that "we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." The U.S. Senate Democrats include the statement on a "In Their Own Words" page. Think Progress called it a "disastrous and uninformed prediction", while the Huffington Post claims that "Cheney's assertion has been shown to be clearly false."

Those statements simply do not match documented historical facts. Larry Elder, Cliff May and Michelle Malkin have pointed out, the simple fact of the matter is that we were greeted as liberators, especially as American troops rolled into Baghdad. All you have to do is look at the video from international media coverage of the invasion. That we were greeted as liberators is an irrefutable historical fact.

Yes, we have had to deal with an insurgency, and many Iraqis view us as occupiers and want us out. Americans should mentally put ourselves in their position. If the United States was occupied and controlled by a foreign power, how would we feel? That there is armed resistance is not and should not be surprising. The Bush Administration made things worse as it failed to plan for and bungled the occupation of Iraq. Nothing can excuse the war crimes committed by some of the terrorists, however, and those war criminals need to be exterminated like the sub-human filth they are. The first order of business of the new President should be to do what President Bush has failed to do and exterminate Moqtada al-Sadr.

I have come to realize that this war was a mistake. (See articles from March 20, 2008 and March 24, 2008.) We should not have invaded a country that had not attacked us and, while it presented a threat, did not present an imminent threat that justified a military invasion. But as I watch some war opponents engage in highly dishonest historical revisionism, I have to wonder: do you think this will make conservatives who support the war realize that it was a mistake and join you in opposing it?

There are many good arguments for why this war was a bad idea. Conservatives who opposed Bill Clinton's military adventures in Haiti, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia might be inclined to oppose the war in Iraq on similar grounds. But when one of your arguments is repeating something that is so obviously false, is it a surprise when conservatives simply shut down and dismiss further, logically and factually sound arguments against the war? When you combine that with shrill arguments and personal attacks against the Bush Administration (which still has the support, even if tepid, of many conservatives) and other supporters of the war, is it a surprise that more conservatives have not moved into the anti-war column?

The war in Iraq has proven to be a rallying cry for Leftist activists, and has cost Republicans politically. But if war opponents are serious about ending the occupation of Iraq, more prominent conservatives need to be brought on board. It should not be forgotten that it was a Republican, Richard Nixon, who got the country out of the Vietnam War. While John McCain does not fall into that category, conservative support for ending the war could be critical to Barack Obama's desire to bring the troops home.